comedy, movie, movie review, romance

June 27th, 2018 Movie – Zack And Miri Make A Porno

zack and miri make a porno

Z. The last letter of the alphabet. Which means that I am reaching the tail end of things, sort of. Well, let’s get started with these last couple of movies . Today’s movie is one that I received during a white elephant gift exchange several years ago. I admit that I never saw this movie in theaters but I figured that it would be pretty good as it was directed by Kevin Smith, and he can make some good comedies. So let’s have some laughs with today’s movie, Zack And Miri Make A Porno.

The plot: Zack Brown and Miriam “Miri” Linky are roommates in Monroeville, PA but despite both of them working, Miri at the mall and Zack at a coffee shop, they have a stack of unpaid bills. While at the coffee shop Zack is talking with his coworker Delaney, who is only working there until his settlement from the post office come in, about Miri making him go to the reunion, which is on Thanksgiving, and Delaney comments about his relationship with Miri. When he asks why he doesn’t try dating her Zack tells him that he’s known her since the 1st grade and it would be weird to date someone you’ve known that long. Later that night, Miri shows up after her shift is over and is trying on outfits in the back of Zack’s store. As she is changing, two kids notice and start filming her, catching her in her granny panties, but Zack notices and interrupts them before chasing them out. As she asks Zack his opinions on her outfits, they argue about money and that night, the water gets shut off. The next day, they head to the reunion and Miri flirts with her high school crush, Bobby Long, while Zack goes around talking to some of the other guests. As he grabs a drink at the bar, he meets Brandon St. Randy, a gay porn star that also happens to be Bobby’s boyfriend. Zack goes over and introduces Bobby to Miri and when he sees her, he says he recognizes her from the “grannie panties” viral video, shocking Miri when she sees it. When they return home, Zack wants to see how many views the video has received when their electricity gets cut off. The two head to a bar and lament about their financial difficulties and try to figure out what to do for money when Zack suggests that they make a porno. Miri is reluctant at first but is eventually won over by Zack’s enthusiasm for doing and jokes with him that he is just doing this to have sex with her. Zack talks with Delaney and convinces him to help finance the movie and they start holding auditions for actors to be in it, while Zack talks with his friend Deacon from his hockey league to film it. When Zack says they need to do a spoof for their movie, he and Miri try to come up with a good name for the movie and decide to do a Star Wars parody called Star Whores. As they tell their cast the idea for the movie and go through the script, Miri notices that she is only having sex with Zack while he is having sex with the two other girls, Bubbles and Stacey, and she gets jealous and says that she will have sex with Lester, causing Zack to get jealous. They rent out a warehouse and get some costumes for their movie and start shooting some promo shots for the movie. When they return the next day to start shooting, they find the place being demolished and learn the building had been sold a month ago and the owner took their money and ran to Florida. As they all sit around the coffee shop and lament about their misfortune, Zack suddenly gets an idea. Grabbing the camera that his boss setup to watch him during his shift, Zack says they can shoot the movie at the coffee shop. The others agree to change the movie and show up after the shop closes and Miri finds herself looking at Zack in a new light. They start shooting their new movie and as they leave for the night, Miri and Zack discuss their upcoming scene for the next day and Miri says they need to promise that it won’t get weird between them afterwards. The next night, Zack and Miri shoot their scene but instead of the rough sex that some of the other actors had done, they end up having more romantic and tender sex. The next night, they start to talk about what happened when they discover the lights and power have been turned back on. Delaney and the rest of the cast show up and tell them they pooled their money to pay off some of their debt in order to get their utilities back on and Delaney, acting as producer, says they should have an early wrap party. As the party goes on, Stacey talks with Miri about Zack and says she is nervous about having sex with him in their scene and asks if it would be ok to have sex with him tonight. Miri, having started to have feelings for Zack, says it’s ok for her to ask but looks hurt when Zack goes into his room with Stacey. The next day, Zack had changed the scene so that Stacey has sex with Lester instead of Miri but is surprised to find that Miri has shown up to shoot the scene. Zack takes Miri into the back room and they start arguing about her being there, as Zack feels like she is doing this to get back at him for sleeping with Stacey. When he says that Stacey said she was ok with it, and Miri responds that she was only ok with her asking, Zack feels like that was some kind of test. Zack then admits that he is in love with Miri and that when they had sex they shared a romantic and emotional connection but Miri doesn’t share his feelings. Zack leaves the shop, telling Delaney he is quitting the film, and when Miri gets home, she finds that Zack has moved out of their apartment. Three months later, Zack has taken a job working outside the Pittsburgh Penguins stadium during their home games, allowing people to shoot at him with a paintball gun. Delaney shows up and as they catch up, he tells Zack that he got his settlement money from the post office and asks Zack to stop by his house so they can finish editing their movie. When he gets there, he finds Deacon in Delaney’s basement ready to edit and they show him the footage they shot of Lester and Stacey, Bubbles and Barry, and then Zack and Miri. When Zack asks about the footage of Lester and Miri, Deacon tells him they don’t have any because Miri said she couldn’t do the scene after Zack left. Zack leaves and heads back to Miri’s apartment to talk to her and while she is in the bathroom, he talks to her through the door and tells her he never slept with Stacey as they spent the whole night talking about Miri. When a naked Lester walks out of Miri’s room, Zack tells ehr he doesn’t care if she is sleeping with him as he will wait for her but Lester tells him that they aren’t sleeping with each other. He explains that after Zack moved out, he moved in to help her pay the rent and they switched rooms, as his old room still smelled like him. Miri comes out of the bathroom and says she missed him and as they hug and kiss, she tells him that she loves him and they head into her room. Some time later, it is shown that Zack and Miri got married and started a production company with Delaney called Zack And Miri Make Your Porno, where they make videos for couples who want to film their lovemaking.

Zack And Miri Make A Porno met with mixed results from the critics, holding a 63% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Zack and Miri Make a Porno is a modest success for Kevin Smith, due in large part to the charm of Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks.” During one of his sex scenes, Jason Mewes (Lester) is wearing a tie and flips it around so it is hanging down his back. This was because he has a tattoo of friend and director Kevin Smith’s daughter’s name down his back and the tie was used to hide it. The movie was a modest hit at the box office, earning $42.8 million off of a $24 million budget.

This is really dirty, but a pretty funny movie. The acting was good, with Seth Rogen (Zack) and Elizabeth Banks (Miri) doing good jobs in their roles and showing some good chemistry with each other. I honestly felt like Craig Robinson (Delaney) kind of stole the show in his scenes as he was really funny. The story was pretty good and had a great plot set up in the fact that two friends are desperate to come up with the money to pay their bills and decide to make a porno in the hopes that it will make money. While it was mainly meant for some raunchy humor, it did have it’s tender side with how the dealt with Zack and Miri’s blossoming romance. The comedy was definitely of the adult variety as there was a lot of swear words and jokes about sex. It’s some raunchy fun and if you are not easily offended, then it is good for a laugh.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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October 26th, 2017 Movie – Spider-Man 3

spider-man 3

There are times that I hate watching movie trailers, because they get me excited for movies that end up letting me down. When I first saw the trailer for today’s movie, I got super excited to see Spider-Man in the black suit, because the black suit means Venom. That should be reason enough for anyone to be excited, as even those that are not big comic book fans have at least some knowledge of the character. However, I didn’t get around to seeing this in theaters, as there were quite a few things happening in my personal life at the time, so I had to wait until it came out on DVD so I could buy and watch today’s movie, Spider-Man 3.

The plot: Peter’s life seems to be making a turn for the better as he attends a Broadway show that MJ is starring in. Harry is also in attendance and when Peter sees him leaving after the show, he tries to talk to him and explain what happened between him and Harry’s father but Harry refuses to listen. After picking up MJ, Peter takes her out to Central Park, where they are watching a meteor shower and as they start kissing, they miss a meteorite striking nearby. The meteorite breaks open and a strange, black substance emerges and makes it’s way towards Peter and MJ, latching onto Peter’s moped as the two leave. After dropping off MJ, Peter heads over to his Aunt May’s apartment, where he tells her that he plans on proposing to MJ and she tells him about when his Uncle Ben proposed to her, then hands him her engagement ring to give to MJ. As Peter heads home, he is attacked by Harry, who had undergone his father’s enhancement process and modified the Green Goblin gear to his own liking. After a vicious fight, Peter is finally able to stop Harry but after Harry falls to the ground and is unresponsive, Peter performs CPR on him and then takes him to the hospital. Meanwhile, Flint Marko escapes from Ryker’s Island prison and heads to his old home to see his severely ill daughter and after changing clothes, quickly leaves. The police catch up to him as he is trying to leave the city and Marko ends up in a particle physics testing facility, where he gets caught in one of the experiments and ends up being vaporized into sand. The next morning, the sand starts moving and Marko is shown to have been turned into living sand, able to solidify and disperse himself at will. Meanwhile, Peter and MJ go to see Harry, who has recovered but has no memory of Peter being Spider-Man and Peter feels relieved about that. Peter returns to his apartment but is soon visited by MJ, who shows him a review from a critic saying her performance was terrible and Peter tries to make her feel better, telling her his own experiences with the critics, but she feels like Peter is trying to make the situation about her. Hearing of an incident on the police scanner, Peter changes into Spider-Man and heads out and MJ leaves, not noticing the black substance moving around in Peter’s apartment. In the city, a malfunctioning crane damages a building where a photo shoot is taking place and Peter rescues Gwen Stacy, one of his classmates, and brings her safely to the ground, where he is photographed by Eddie Brock, a new photographer for the Daily Bugle. Later, Brock and Peter both try to turn photos in to Jameson and after he chooses Brock’s, he tells them that he has a staff opening and says that whichever one of them brings him a shot of Spider-Man being a criminal will get the job. Later, Peter accompanies Harry as he leaves the hospital and heads home, where he shows aspects of his enhanced abilities, which worries Peter. Meanwhile, MJ shows up to rehearsal only to find that she has been replaced, and starts feeling even more depressed. That afternoon, a ceremony is held to give Spider-Man the key to the city and Peter is there taking pictures and talks with MJ, asking her if she is ok, but she doesn’t tell him what happened. As the ceremony commences, Spider-Man swings down and ends up getting kissed by Gwen Stacy, who was presenting the key, which upsets MJ and she quickly leaves, with Harry following after her. Meanwhile, the cops spot Marko and go after him but he transforms into a giant sand storm and knocks them away before heading after an armored car. Spider-Man goes after him and the two fight inside the car but Marko is able to escape. Later that night, Peter takes MJ to a fancy restaurant, where he hopes to propose to her, but when Gwen appears and talks with Peter, MJ gets jealous and upset and leaves before Peter can propose. The next day, Peter and Aunt May are told that the man they thought killed Uncle Ben was actually an accomplice and Marko was the real killer, which angers Peter. After leaving the station, Peter heads back to his apartment and tries talking to him but his anger and desire for vengeance causes him to start shutting her out. That night, the black substance latches onto Peter as he is wearing his Spider-Man outfit, turning it black and enhancing his abilities. Peter takes a sample of the substance to Dr. Connors, who says it is some sort of symbiote and tells Peter not to let it touch him. That night, Peter hears about Marko robbing another armored car and he puts on the black suit and heads out after him, arriving at the scene as Marko is leaving through the subway tunnel. Brock shows up to try and take some pictures but Spider-Man smashes his camera then heads after Marko, leaving Brock to take some pictures of the scene with a spare digital camera. Spider-Man and Mark start fighting through the subway and eventually fall to the bottom of the sewer system, where Marko is shown to have a weakness to water and Spider-Man rips open a water main, washing Marko away and seemingly killing him. The next day, MJ gets a job at a nightclub and afterwards, calls Harry and goes to hang out with him, not wanting to tell Peter about her misfortunes. As they are eating and cleaning up, Harry tries to kiss MJ but she backs off and quickly leaves. Harry heads to his study and hears his father’s voice and after seeing him in the mirror, regains his memory and come up with a plan to attack Peter. Harry dons his Goblin gear and grabs MJ in her apartment, then forces her to break up with Peter, saying she fell in love with someone else. Later, Peter complains to Harry about what happened and Harry tells Peter that he is the man MJ fell in love with. Peter leaves but when he looks back, Harry winks at him before leaving himself. Realizing Harry regained his memory, Peter dons the black suit and goes to confront him at his home and the two fight, with Peter overpowering him and then telling him that his father despised him. Peter starts to leave and Harry throws a pumpkin bomb at him but Peter dodges it, then throws it back at Harry, where it explodes by his face. The next day, Peter sees the Bugle running a story about Spider-Man being a crook with a photo by Brock and Peter confronts Brock about the picture, then gives Robbie proof that the photo was faked. Robbie confirms the photo was doctored and Jameson fires Brock, then reluctantly prints a retraction. Peter, falling further under the suit’s influence, takes Gwen out on a date to the nightclub where MJ works, using her to make MJ jealous. Gwen realizes what he is doing and apologizes to MJ before leaving and when Peter argues with MJ, the bouncers try to kick him out of the club. Peter starts fighting with the bouncers and accidentally strikes MJ and as she stares at him in horror, he realizes what he is becoming and quickly leaves. Peter heads to a nearby church bell tower and tries to remove the suit but finds it refuses to come off. When he accidentally hits the bell, he notices the sound waves cause the suit’s hold to weaken so he continuously hits the bell and is finally able to rip off the suit, but the symbiote drops down from the tower and latches onto Brock, who was in the church praying for Peter’s death. Brock, now calling himself Venom, locates Sandman and convinces him to team up with him in order to kill Spider-Man, then kidnaps MJ to use as bait. Seeing what is happening on the news, Peter goes to see Harry to ask for his help but Harry, showing Peter the scars on his face from the bomb, refuses to help. After Peter leaves, Harry’s butler approaches him and tells him how he had cleaned Norman’s wounds and that he was killed by his own glider. Spider-Man heads to rescue MJ but he is attacked by Venom and Sandman and nearly killed before being saved by Harry. The two team up to fight and manage to save MJ but Venom grabs Spider-Man and is prepared to kill him. Harry intervenes and tries to stop Venom but Harry grabs his glider and prepares to impale Peter with it. Harry leaps in the path and gets impaled instead, falling to a lower level of the building and MJ rushes down to check on him. Peter frees himself from Venom’s webs and uses metal pipes to fashion a makeshift sound cage, trapping Venom inside and hits the pipes to create enough sound to weaken the symbiote and free Brock. Peter then grabs one of Harry’s bombs and throws it at the symbiote but Brock jumps inside the cage to grab the bomb and he is destroyed with the symbiote. Marko confronts Peter and explains how Uncle Ben’s death was an accident and Peter forgives him and allows Marko to escape. Peter then joins MJ with Harry, who apologizes for what he did before dying from his wounds. Some time later, Peter returns to the nightclub and watches MJ sing and when she sees him, the two approach and hug each other, reconciling over what all has happened.

Spider-Man 3 met with mixed results from the critics, holding a 63% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Though there are more characters and plot lines, and the action sequences still dazzle, Spider-Man 3 nonetheless isn’t quite as refined as the first two.” The visual effects needed to portray Sandman took three years to create, meaning they started working on this almost as soon as Spider-Man 2 was finished. Despite the low critic approval, the movie was the most profitable movie out of Sam Raimi trilogy, earning $890.9 million off of a $258 million budget.

As great as the last movie was, this was kind of a let down but still a decent movie. The acting was good, with all of the returning characters doing good jobs with their roles. Thomas Haden Church did a good job as Marko, though I think made him more of a sympathetic character than how he was in the comics. Wow there were some aspects of Topher Grace’s portrayal of Eddie Brock that I liked, on the whole he kind of seemed more like a sniveling creep as opposed to the obsessed sociopath that Brock generally is. The story was a good, But I do think all of the different story lines they tried putting into the movie really hurt it. There were also a couple of scenes that really didn’t fit well with the pace of the movie. I understand how they were attempting to show the difference in Peter’s attitude after repeatedly wearing the black suit but that scene with him walking down the sidewalk and acting like an arrogant ass just looked stupid. The special effects were definitely great regarding Sandman but I was a little less thrilled with Venom, which isn’t necessarily a knock on the effects themselves but more my wishing they had done more with him. Not the best movie in the bunch but still a solid entry and worth watching.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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October 25th, 2017 Movie – Spider-Man 2

spider-man 2

It doesn’t happen often, but I do love it when a sequel is better than the original. I remember seeing the trailers for this movie and was immediately excited to seeSo no it because Doctor Octopus was always my favorite Spider-Man villain. To me, he had a lot of different aspects to his character; being a brilliant scientist and planning things out, while also reverting to a more thuggish approach at times and simply using brute force to achieve his goals. So I went into this movie hoping that they would do the character justice and I have to admit, Spider-Man 2 did not disappoint me.

The plot: It’s been 2 years since Peter Parker became Spider-Man and he is struggling to make ends meet with his life, losing his job and falling behind in his classes. Heading to his Aunt May’s house, Peter is surprised to see Harry and MJ there as May planned a surprise birthday party. As MJ helps May with the cake, Harry comments about how she still seems to love Peter, despite Peter saying he doesn’t have time for a girlfriend right now. Harry then comments about Peter taking pictures of Spider-Man, which is putting a strain on his friendship with Peter as Harry still blames Spider-Man for his father’s death, before inviting Peter to meet Otto Octavius, who is working for Oscorp now. After the party, Peter tries talking to Aunt May about her finances but she dodges the questions and goes to give him some money for his birthday, arguing with him that he needs it more. As Peter takes out the trash before leaving, he finds MJ sitting out back in her parent’s house and they talk for a few minutes, with MJ telling him that she is seeing someone now. The next day, Harry introduces Peter to Octavius, who is working on creating a sustainable source of fusion power, and Peter and Octavius appear to hit it off, spending an hour discussing the project and science in general. Peter has his concerns about the projects safety but Octavius assures him it will be fine and his wife Rosalie invites Peter to the demonstration to see for himself. That night, Peter goes to see MJ’s play but when, as Spider-Man, he is forced to stop a car chase, he ends up being late for the play and unable to get in. As he waits outside to try and talk to her after the play, he sees her kissing her boyfriend and leaves when he notices several police cars going by with their sirens on. As he is swinging through the air, he suddenly is unable to form a web and ends up falling onto a nearby rooftop and after recovering, he still can’t shoot a web so he ends up taking the elevator downstairs and walking home. The next day, Octavius gives his demonstration, revealing the mechanical arms that he will be using to help with the experiment. When a magnetic surge destabilizes the experiment, Peter quickly changes into Spider-Man and rescues Harry before trying to unplug the device. Octavius sees Spider-Man and uses the arms to swat him away, trying his best to regain control of the experiment, but another surge causes the nearby windows to explode and Rasalie is killed by the shards. When Octavius turns to look at her, another surge hits him and fries the inhibitor chip that keeps the arm’s AI from leaking into his own brain before Spider-Man is finally able to unplug the device and shut down the experiment. Octavius is taken to the hospital, where the doctors try to remove the arms and harness from him as they have been fused to his spine, but the arms come alive on their own and proceed to kill all of the doctors. The arms then help rouse Octavius, who cries out in grief and breaks out of the hospital and heads down to the docks. While there, he realizes that arms have gained sentience and that they are talking to him, convincing him to rebuild the device and he refuses at first but soon agrees with them. The next day, Peter and Aunt May are in the bank to try and refinance her home loan when Octavius attempts to rob the bank. Peter changes into Spider-Man and tries fighting him off but his powers start to fail again and Octavius is able to escape, taking Aunt May as a hostage. Spider-Man chases after him and continues fighting while trying to save Aunt May and he finally is able to do so while Octavius is able to get away. That night, Peter is working for the Bugle as a society photographer at an event honoring Jameson’s son John and he learns that John is MJ’s boyfriend. When Peter gets a moment to talk to MJ alone, she tells him that she can’t keep hoping something will happen between them and comments about how her friend who said he would always be there for her is never there. As the party continues, John announces that MJ agreed to marry him and Peter is forced to take a picture of the couple, then is confronted by a drunken Harry, who blames Peter for taking everything from him while covering for Spider-Man’s part in his father’s death. As Peter is swinging through the streets, his powers disappear again and he falls to the street. After seeing a doctor, who says there is nothing physically wrong with Peter and it might just be in his head, Peter decides to give up being Spider-Man, throwing his costume in the dumpster where he had last fallen. With the pressure of being Spider-Man no longer there, Peter is able to refocus in school and shows up to MJ’s play, surprising her. After the play, the two walk and Peter asks her to dinner but MJ says that she is with John and it isn’t fair for Peter to think things will change just because he showed up at her play. As Peter continues his life of not being Spider-Man, he is constantly forced to choose not to help people, such as walking away when he sees someone being mugged. After going with Aunt May to Uncle Ben’s grave, Peter is sitting with her at her home and tells her the truth about what happened to Ben, and how he let the robber that killed him go by without trying to stop him and the guilt he has been carrying ever since, causing Aunt May to walk away as she accepts with what he told her. Meanwhile, Octavius finishes construction of his device and goes to see Harry about getting the fuel needed for it and Harry agrees to give it to him in exchange for Octavius bringing Spider-Man to him so he can kill him. Elsewhere, Peter sees a burning building and starts to walk by but when he hears that a kid is trapped inside, he goes in to try and save her. Peter manages to rescue the little girl but nearly dies in the process and when he learns that someone else had been trapped and died in the blaze, he starts questioning whether he made the right choice. Peter gets a message from Aunt May and when he heads over there, finds her packing her things, saying she decided to go ahead and move into an apartment but tells Peter she doesn’t blame Peter for Ben’s death and appreciates the courage it took for him to tell her what happened. After trying an upside down kiss with John, MJ meets up with Peter to talk and asks him to kiss her but they are interrupted by a car flying through the window. Peter saves MJ and they watch as Octavius approaches them, telling Peter to have Spider-Man meet him before knocking Peter into a wall and taking MJ hostage. Peter breaks free from the rubble and finds that his powers have returned and he grabs his costume from Jameson, who had bought it off of bum that had found it and had it displayed in his office, then goes on to face Octavius, with their fight carrying on to the top of a subway car. Octavius causes the subway to go out of control, then jumps onto a building to escape, leaving Spider-Man to try and stop the runaway train. Spider-Man eventually manages to stop the strain, though the strain almost causes him to fall to his death but he is saved by the train’s passengers, who try to defend him from Octavius but Octavius easily brushes them aside and knocks Spider-Man out. Octavius carries Spider-Man to Harry and leaves him for Harry to kill while he takes the tritium needed to fuel his device. Harry rips off Spider-Man’s mask and is shocked to discover Peter is Spider-Man and after Peter frees himself, asks Harry where Octavius is, saying what is at stake is bigger than the issues between them. Spider-Man heads off to Octavius’ lair just as Octavius activates his machine. He attempts to rescue MJ but Octavius spots him and the two start fighting again. Spider-Man is able to stop Octavius and unplug the machine but the device continues to function. Spider-Man approaches Octavius and asks for his help in stopping it, taking off his mask to reveal he is Peter. Octavius attacks him at first, but Peter convinces him to help and Octavius uses the arms to sink the device in the river, drowning himself in the process. Meanwhile, Peter saves MJ from the debris and after making their way to safety, he admits that he still loves her but because he will always be Spider-Man, and will have enemies that might hurt her to get to him. When John arrives with the police, MJ reunites him but watches sadly as Peter swings away. Meanwhile, Harry is drinking when he has a vision of his father telling him to avenge his death and Harry throws his drink through the mirror, discovering his father’s hidden lair with all of his Green Goblin material. The next day, MJ stands up John at the altar and heads to Peter’s apartment, telling Peter she is free to make her own choice and face the risks being with him and the two kiss before they hear sirens and MJ tells Peter to go after them, watching as he swings away.

Spider-Man 2 met with high praise from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 94% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, ” Boasting an entertaining villain and deeper emotional focus, this is a nimble sequel that improves upon the original.” Since the movie came out, it has been judged as one of the best comic book movies of all times among the various critics. In spite of receiving better reviews from the critics, the movie did not fare as well at the box office as it’s predecessor, earning $783.8 million off of a $200 million budget.

This is definitely a great movie to watch and deserving of all of the praise that it received. The acting was really good, with Tobey Maguire (Peter), Kirsten Dunst (MJ), James Franco (Harry), and Rosemary Harris (Aunt May) all did good jobs in reprising their roles. I thought Alfred Molina was great as Doctor Octopus and did a good job of showcasing the character’s intelligence as well as his arrogance. The story was very good, showcasing a lot of character development in Peter as he struggles with his life as Spider-Man and his life as Peter Parker. On a personal note, I thought the nod to Superman when Peter was trying to stop the subway train was really funny. I also liked Harry’s obsession with killing Spider-Man started driving him to the same madness that plagued his father (much like in the comics). The special effects were definitely improved in this movie and did a great job blending CGI and stunt work for the various fight scenes. About the only thing I didn’t like in this movie was how they were portraying MJ, but I can’t really say why it bugged me. My personal gripe aside, this is a fantastic movie that can stand up to any of Marvel’s recent movies (and definitely most of DC’s) and well worth watching.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

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October 24th, 2017 Movie – Spider-Man (2002)

spider-man 2002

The turn of the century and a time when the Superhero movies really began to take over Hollywood. I remember all the buzz (not sure if that is a pun or not) concerning this movie, made even more so due to the city it is set in after 9/11. Now there have been several attempts at a Spider-Man movie in the past and some scripts had been bounced around for years but nobody really wanted to attempt it. After Fox’s X-Men proved a success, Sony went ahead with their movie and thus, a popular franchise gained new life in today’s movie, Spider-Man (2002).

The plot: On a senior trip to Columbia University, Peter is attempting to take pictures of the lab for the school newspaper but is being bullied by Flash Thompson and his friends. As their tour continues, Peter asks Mary Jane “MJ” Watson, his next door neighbor and the girl he has a crush on, if he can take her picture next to some of the spider cages and she agrees. As he is taking her picture, a genetically altered spider, which had escaped from it’s cage, drops down from it’s web onto Peter’s hand and bites him, scurrying away when he brushes it to the floor. Returning home, where he lives with his Aunt May and Uncle Ben, Peter rushes upstairs to his room, where he ends up passing out on the floor. Meanwhile, Norman Osborn is attempting human performance enhancement treatments as part of a military contract but the general assigned to it says that he will pull their funding and give it to their competitor, who is testing their exo-skeleton in 2 weeks. Feeling pressured after his lead scientist said they should start over, Norman decides to test the procedure on himself but when his heart stops, the lead scientist cancels the procedure and tries to revive him only for Norman to regain consciousness and kill him, then steal the suit and glider from the lab. The next day, Peter finds that his body has undergone some changes and as he is sitting at lunch, he somehow shoots out a strand of web from his wrist, which sticks to a nearby lunch tray that he accidentally throws at Flash. Quickly leaving the cafeteria, Peter goes to his locker to get his books so he can leave when Flash tries to punch him from behind but Peter is able to sense the punch coming and avoid it, as well as the following punches, then knock Flash back with one punch. Leaving school, Peter realizes the spider bite must have changed him and he starts experimenting with what he can do; first by scaling a nearby building, then leaping from roof to roof before finally attempting to swing from one of his webs. When he gets home, he finds a note from his Uncle in the newly painted kitchen, which Peter was supposed to help with, and feels bad for not helping. As he takes the trash out, he hears MJ arguing with her father next door and when she comes outside, she ends up talking with Peter about their plans after graduation before leaving with Flash in his new car. Deciding to try and get a car for himself, Peter sees an ad in the newspaper offering $3000 for lasting 3 minutes in a wrestling match against Bone Saw McGraw and he decides to do it, making a costume for himself. Peter leaves to go to the wrestling ring, telling May and Ben that he is going to the downtown library, but his uncle decides to drive him there. When he gets to the library, Ben tries talking with Peter about what has been going on with him recently but Peter doesn’t want to to talk, yelling at Ben that he isn’t his father, and a hurt Ben drives off saying he will pick Peter up at 10. Peter heads to the wrestling ring to compete, with the announcer calling him the Amazing Spider-Man, and Peter finds himself in a steel cage match but he manages to beat Bone Saw. Backstage, Peter is only given $100, with the promoter saying that he didn’t last the full 3 minutes but Peter leaves, a man enters the room and robs the promoter. As the crook runs for the elevators, Peter stands aside and lets him leave, telling the promoter it wasn’t his problem when he asks why he didn’t try to stop him. Outside, Peter sees a crowds outside where his uncle was supposed to pick him up and he finds Ben lying on the ground, having been shot during a carjacking. Hearing on a nearby cop’s radio that the cops are chasing after him, Peter races off, donning his costume again and chases after the carjacker, managing to swing from his webs to finally catch up to him. Peter causes the car to crash into an old warehouse and he follows after the carjacker, only to realize that it is the same man that robbed the promoter and he let get away. The crook tries to shoot Peter but he breaks his wrist and the crook backs away from him and ends up falling to his death while a guilt ridden Peter returns home and tells Aunt May what happened. Meanwhile, Quest Aerospace is testing their exo-skeleton, with General Slocum in attendance, when a figure in a green suit and riding Oscorp’s glider flies down and destroys the exo-skeleton and then the observation bunker, killing the scientists and Slocum. After graduation, Peter moves into an apartment downtown with Harry and begins stopping crimes and helping save people in trouble. As he is walking around town, he runs into MJ, who is working at a diner and she asks him not to tell Harry, as they are secretly dating. Peter returns to his apartment to find Osborn there, who asks Peter if he knows who Harry’s girlfriend is but Peter tells him he has no idea. Osborn heads to his company and tells the board that Oscorp has now become the chief supplier for the military but the board tells him that they are accepting a buyout from Quest Aerospace and that he is being kicked out of the company. At the Oscorp Unity Festival, Peter is there taking pictures to sell for the Daily Bugle when he spots Harry and MJ on a balcony. Harry spots Peter in the crowd and tries to get MJ to head inside to avoid any discomfort when the Green Goblin attacks the festival, killing the board members of Oscorp before Spider-Man is finally able to fend him off, disabling his glider, then rescues MJ before she falls from the crumbling balcony. The next day, Osborn is reading in the paper about the deaths of the Board members in the paper when he starts hearing a voice in his head, revealing himself to be the Green Goblin and suffering from a sort of split personality due to the performance enhancers. Osborn attacks the Daily Bugle to find out who takes the pictures of Spider-Man for them but J. Jonah Jameson refuses to tell him. When Spider-Man shows up to stop Osborn, Green Goblin uses sleep gas on him and then carries him off and when he regains consciousness, Osborn tries to convince Spider-Man, telling him the city will turn on him eventually. Peter runs into MJ again after she had auditioned for a role and the two talk for a while before she leaves to go meet Harry but as she walks away, Peter notices some guys suddenly following after her. As the 4 men chase after MJ and attempt to rape her, a maskless Spider-Man rescues her then quickly disappears when she approaches him, only to reappear with his mask on but MJ pulls the mask down from his mouth so she can kiss him. The next day, Peter rescues a baby from a burning building when the police show up to try and arrest him but when they hear more screams coming from inside, they allow him to head back inside to rescue whoever is left. Peter heads back inside only to find the screams were actually a trap set by the Green Goblin, who attacks Peter with flying razor discs, cutting his arm but Peter is able to get away. Osborn heads to Harry and Peter’s apartment for Thanksgiving with Harry, Peter, MJ, and Aunt May and as they sit down for dinner, Aunt May notices the cut on Peter’s arm and Osborn realizes that Peter is Spider-Man. Osborn attacks Aunt May’s house, terrorizing her and sending her to the hospital in order to attack Peter’s spirit. Peter goes to the hospital to be with her and MJ stops by for a visit and as they talk, she mentions she might be in love with Spider-Man and as Peter talks to her about how “he described MJ to Spider-Man”, the two get closer but pull away when they see Harry has shown up and saw them. Harry returns to his father’s house, telling him about Peter and MJ and after learning that Peter loves MJ, Osborn realizes a better way to attack Peter. Back at the hospital, Peter is surprised to find Aunt May had been awake when MJ was there and when she mentions how everyone knows that he loves her, he realizes the Goblin might know as well and calls MJ to warn her only to hear the Goblin on the phone. Osborn has taken MJ to the Queensboro Bridge, where he has also taken a cable car full of children hostage and forces Peter to choose who he will save, releasing them both. Peter dives from the bridge and saves MJ, then grabs the cable for the cable car in one hand while webbing himself to the bridge with the other, saving everyone. The captain of a barge starts moving his barge underneath the cable car so Peter can lower it onto the barge and Peter tells MJ to climb down the cable and get on the cable car top safety. Osborn attacks Peter to try and get him to drop the cable car but the people on the bridge begin throwing things at the Goblin to keep him from stopping Spider-Man. Once the cable car is safe, Goblin grabs Spider-Man and drags him away, and the two begin fighting in an abandoned building but as Peter gets the upper hand, Osborn begs him to stop, revealing himself to be the Goblin, but as he talks with Peter, he secretly activates his glider and tries to impale Peter with is but Peter is able to dodge it and Osborn impales himself instead, begging Peter not to tell Harry before he dies. Peter removes the Goblin armor and takes Osborn back to his home but Harry sees him and accuses Spider-Man of killing his father. At the funeral, Peter offers his condolences to Harry, who wants vengeance on Spider-Man. Peter then goes to Uncle Ben’s grave, where MJ approaches him and tells him she loves him and kisses him but Peter tells her he will always be there as a friend and walks away from her but as he leaves, MJ thinks about the kiss and starts to wonder if he is Spider-Man.

Spider-Man (2002) met with mostly praise from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 89% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Not only does Spider-Man provide a good dose of web-swinging fun, it also has a heart, thanks to the combined charms of director Sam Raimi and star Tobey Maguire.” After 9/11, Sony recalled all of the teaser posters that had Spider-Man’s face and the NYC skyline reflected in his mask, including the Twin Towers, but not all of the posters were recovered and the ones still at large are highly sought after collector’s items. The movie was the first movie to break $100 million in it’s opening weekend on it’s way to earning $821.7 million off of a $139 million budget and spawned two sequels.

This is definitely a fun movie to watch and a good way to kick-off to a series. The acting was good, with Tobey Maguire (Peter) and Willem Dafoe (Osborn) doing great jobs with their characters and had good chemistry working together. I also liked Rosemary Harris as Aunt May and James Franco as Harry but was honestly kind of indifferent to Kirsten Dunst as MJ. The story was pretty good, basically telling the origin of both Spider-Man and the Green Goblin, with some changes made to the story lines. Personally, I loved that the included the wrestling scene as I always thought that was an interesting aspect of his developement; showing that Peter really was just a teenager, in spite of his abilities, and would make the same selfish decisions that any teenager would make. One thing that I didn’t particularly care for was that they changed an iconic story line of Gwen Stacy’s death and inserted MJ into it but I do understand that most current fans (back then at least) were more familiar with MJ’s relationship with Peter as opposed to Gwen’s. The special effects were well done and a marked improvement to some of the superhero movies in the 90’s. A good movie and one that never fails to entertain me.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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

September 26th, 2017 Movie – Slither (2006)

slither

Ahh, the memories involving this movie. When I first saw the trailers for this movie, I immediately thought that it looked like a remake of Night OF The Creeps. Apparently I wasn’t the only one as there were lots of people commenting online about the similarities. Still, I knew it was going to be a cheesy fun movie to watch . Unfortunately, I never got around to seeing it in theaters so I had to wait until it came out on video to watch it. Now lets have some fun with today’s movie, Slither.

The plot: In the small town of Wheelsy, South Carolina, local car dealer Grant Grant is married to Starla and jealously possessive of her. Some people don’t understand their marriage but sheriff Bill Pardy, who has had a crush on her since high school, says that when she was left all on her own at 17, and Grant shows up with a lot of money and offering to pay for her college, she got swept up in the moment. That night, Grant tries to have sex with Starla but when she tells him she isn’t in the mood, he gets mad and heads to the bar for a drink. While there, he runs into Brenda, the younger sister of an old girlfriend, and the two end up going into the woods together. Brenda tries kissing Grant but he pushes her away and is about to leave when he notices the remains of a meteorite that had crashed there the night before and a slime trail leading away from it. Following the trail, Grant and Brenda find a strange, grub like creature and as Grant leans closer to look at it, a stinger shoots out from the creature’s back and strikes him, infecting him with a parasite. After collapsing to the ground while the parasite heads to his brain, Grant then gets up and heads home, leaving Brenda wondering if he is ok. The next morning, Starla tries apologizing to Grant and they end up dancing and fooling around before they both head to work. That afternoon, Grant buys up a large quantity of meat from the store and stores it all in the basement, placing a lock on the door to keep Starla from seeing it, which she questions. That night there is a town dance and Starla is getting ready for it when Grant enters the bathroom and alien tendrils emerge from his stomach but he doesn’t want to hurt Starla and quickly leaves, telling her he will meet her there. At the dance, Bill sees Starla standing by herself and works up the nerve to go talk with her and eventually dances with her. Meanwhile, Grant had gone to Brenda’s house and after learning that her husband isn’t there, he heads inside and ends up impregnanting her with the alien tendrils. Starla comes home and wonders where Grant is and when she finally sees him, asks what is wrong, as Grant’s face is swollen, and Grant tells her he had an allergic reaction to a bee sting and got some medicine from the doctor. The next day, Starla calls the doctor’s office and finds that they haven’t seen Grant in over a year and she starts to worry, while also noticing several posters for missing pets all seem to be from her neighborhood. That night, Bill and his deputy Don show up to speak with Grant in connection to Brenda’s disappearance but she tells them that he isn’t there. After they leave, Starla gets a hammer and breaks the lock on the basement door to see what is down there and she finds the carcasses of dozens of animals including the missing pets. Starla calls Bill but as she is on the phone, she sees Grant, who has begun to mutate further, outside the window and she tries to run but he attacks her and tries to impregnate her but when Bill and his deputies show up, he runs off into the woods. Three days later, Mayor Jack MacReady is pressuring Bill to find Grant when they get word of another animal attack. After checking the scene, Bill rounds up a couple of hunters to go with his deputies and they head off to stake out where Grant will most likely strike next and Starla convinces Bill to let her come too. When Grant shows up, he has mutated even further into a giant, slug-like creature and he kills a cow and drags it into the woods. Starla heads out to try and talk with Grant as Bill and the others surround him but Grant roars at them and leaves, killing one of the hunters in the process. Bill and the others follow Grant into the woods and come to an abandoned barn, and find Brenda inside, having swollen up to giant proportions. As they try to find out what happened to her, Brenda starts splitting open and Bill sees Grant outside and realizes he lead them into a trap. Brenda explodes, releasing hundreds of blood-red slugs which begin crawling over everyone and into the mouths of Don and some of the others but Bill, Starla, Jack, and Deputy Margaret. Unable to raise anyone on his radio, Bill goes back to his car to call for help and tells the others to bring the bodies out of the barn but while he is gone, Don and the others suddenly regain consciousness and begin speaking like Grant and they kill Margaret while Starla shoots Don but then her and Jack are forced to run. Meanwhile, a teenager named Kylie is taking a bath when one of the slugs tries to get in her mouth and she gains some of the creature’s memories but she is able to pull it out of her mouth and kill it. She yells for her family but they have all been infected and as the slugs start swarming the house, she gets in her family’s truck and hides. Her family suddenly appear and try to get to her when Bill shows up to find out what is going on. As their attention is turned to him, Kylie runs to him and tries to tell him that they aren’t her family when he is attacked by another person that is infected. Bill and Kylie manage to get away and make it to his car and they see Starla and Jack being chased by his infected deputy so Bill hits the deputy, and Starla kills him, and they all leave. Kylie tells them what she saw from the slug’s memories and Starla says the creature has a hive mind, which is why all of the people were talking like Grant. Bill contacts his secretary and tells her to call the CDC but she gets infected by the slugs and as Bill and the others reach town, they are ambushed by the infected people. The infected people grab Starla and Jack and drag them away but Bill and Kylie manage to get away. Bill heads to the police department to grab a grenade, theorizing that if he kills Grant, he will stop all of the infected people. When he goes inside, he is attacked by an infected deer but Kylie manages to save him and they grab the grenade and leave, with Bill saying when he retells the story, he will save her from the deer. Meanwhile, the infected take Starla back to her house and dress her in a nightgown while Jack is placed in the basement with other people who are impregnated and when he tries to escape, he ends up being impregnated as well. When Starla regains consciousness, she tries to escape but when she realizes she can’t, she grabs a hairbrush and pulls off the bristles to use as a makeshift weapon. Starla heads downstairs and finds Grants has mutated even further and begun absorbing some of the other people to increase his mass. Starla approaches Grant and tries to sooth him and say that she will stay by his side but as she goes to kiss him, she stabs him with the brush and he throws her aside. Bill and Kylie show up and try to blow him up but Grant knocks Bill out the window and the grenade falls into the pool while Kylie is slammed into a wall by a couch. Grant them tries to impregnate Bill but Bill grabs one of the tentacles and sticks it into a nearby propane tank, then tells Starla to shoot Grant. Starla does and Grant is destroyed, while all of the infected people drop dead as the hive mind is destroyed. Starla and Kylie go to check on Bill and Kylie tells him that he will be fine as Grant needed both tentacles to be impregnated. Bill is grateful for that and as they leave, he asks Kylie to tell Starla about how he saved her from a deer, unaware that a cat starts feeding on Grant’s corpse and ends up being infected.

Slither (2006) met with mostly praise from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 86% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “A slimy, B-movie homage oozing with affection for low-budget horror films, Slither is creepy and funny — if you’ve got the stomach for it.” There was some controversy when the trailers first came out for the movie as people commented online about it’s similar plot point to Night Of The Creeps but writer/director James Gunn swore that he had never seen Night Of The Creeps until after he had filmed Slither. The movie was a dud at the box office, earning $12.8 million off of a $15 million budget but became a cult hit when it came out on video.

This is a fun, ridiculous horror movie to watch. The acting was good, with Nathan Fillion (Bill), Elizabeth Banks (Starla), and Michael Rooker (Grant) all doing good jobs in their roles. The story definitely did have some similarities to Night Of The Creeps but it also had it’s own unique style to it. While there were some comedic elements to the movie, they were mostly situational and sometimes fell a little flat. The special effects in the creature design and the gore were definitely well done and showed some creativity in their use. Silly, fun, and a couple of decent scares that make it worth watching.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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