Film

Congo

by Cap'n Carrot on September 18, 2014 · 0 comments

in Film

congo-blu-rayAlthough it’s not his best work, Michael Crichton’s 1980 novel Congo is actually a pretty good story. Sadly, the same can’t be said for the big screen adaptation made 15 years later. The film stars Dylan Walsh as a scientist who has raised a sign-language speaking ape named Amy and decided to return the gorilla back to the wild with the help of a bizarre financier (Tim Curry) whose interests in the gorilla’s doodles make him believe Amy could lead the group to the legendary lost city of Zinj.

The movie condenses and jumbles the motives of everyone involved producing a single expedition which also includes a scientist (Laura Linney) looking for her ex-fiancé and his team who were attacked by strange murderous gray gorillas (rather than motivated by the corporate greed of the priceless diamonds lost in the jungle as in the novel), a great white hunter who happens to be black (Ernie Hudson), and a member of the group who you know has no chance to make it out alive (Grant Heslov).

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Seeing Captain America: The Winter Soldier in the theaters my initial reaction was that the Captain America: The First Avenger sequel was an improvement over the first film and one of Marvel Studio’s best efforts. I’m happy to say the movie holds up on Blu-ray. I actually enjoyed it a little more the second time around.

The wide sweeping conspiracy of Hyrda begins sweeping changes in the overall Marvel Universe, immediately effecting Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (leading to the TV show’s strongest episodes), but more than that The Winter Soldier is a good Captain America story full of strong performances (making great use of Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow) along with plenty of intrigue and action. Sure the movie wastes Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) and the final battle feels a bit too much like a video game with infiltrating and swapping out the chips in hovercrafts of death, but those don’t detract from a strong storyline filled with plenty of comic book goodness. For more on the movie read my original review.

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Oliver Harper returns to take a look an the 1984 gem The Last Starfighter.

Retrospective / Review: The Last Starfighter (1984)

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Every Frame a Painting returns to examine the use of texting and the Internet in film.

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Divergent

by Cap'n Carrot on August 12, 2014 · 0 comments

in Film

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Based on the young adult novel by Veronica Roth, Divergent cashes in on several of the same themes that made The Hunger Games a box office success. Casting Shailene Woodley as Tris, the plucky young heroine in a dystopian future, the movie follows a similar formula of class warfare and child warriors.

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Directed by Jonathan Liebesman (Battle Los Angeles, Wrath of the Titans) and produced by Michael Bay, it’s not really a surprise that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles isn’t a good movie. What is surprising is the fact it isn’t mind-numbingly awful, and at times it even borders on even being dumb fun and mildly entertaining.

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Crom! Oliver Harper returns to take us back to simpler time with his retrospective of Conan The Barbarian.

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Choosing to go where no Marvel film has gone before, Guardians of the Galaxy not only opens the door to the wider Marvel Universe among the stars but also introduces some of Marvel Studios most memorable characters. I’ve been a fan of the current team since they got together back in 2008, but I had serious doubts about how well Marvel could incorporate a group of space misfits who include thieves, killers, a genetically-enhanced raccoon, and talking tree into a mainstream sci-fi/action film.

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Premiering at San Diego Comic-Con here’s a new extended full-length Red Band trailer for the upcoming Sin City sequel Sin City: A Dame to Kill For featuring Marv (Mickey Rourke), Gail (Rosario Dawson), Dwight (Josh Brolin), Nancy (Jessica Alba), and Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). The movie opens in theaters on August 22nd.

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Wish I Was Here

by Cap'n Carrot on July 28, 2014 · 0 comments

in Film

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Ten years ago Zack Braff wrote, directed, and starred in a little film called Garden State. Over the next decade the actor continued to work in front of the camera but other than directing a few episodes of Scrubs left the work behind the camera to others. With the help of a Kickstarter campaign, Braff returns to the big screen with Wish I Was Here which features many of the same quirks of his Garden State while focusing on sensibilities that have evolved over time.

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