Monthly Archives: February 2016

Cinema Dispatch: Gods of Egypt

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Gods of Egypt and all the images you see in this review are owned by Summit Entertainment and Lionsgate

Directed by Alex Proyas

No one was asking for this!  No one wanted the director of Dark City to make a Gore Verbinski style summer tent pole!  Where the hell did his even come from, other than the pits of Hell?  Brace yourselves people.  We’ve got a REALY bad one on our hands.  How bad?  Well you’re about to find out!!

The movie is primarily about the God Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) who is the son of Osiris (Bryan Brown) and will be given the throne to Asgard… I mean Egypt.  Osiris’s brother Set (Gerard Butler) has other plans however and stages the worst (yet somehow most effective) coup I’ve ever seen where about five hundred soldier dudes just enters the main palace with no resistance from Egypt’s own military.  Set kills Osiris and challenges Horus to one on one combat which seems like a pretty dumb idea in hindsight considering Horus almost beats his sorry ass and only loses once Set’s soldiers get involved.  Horus’s own soldiers never show up, and the other Gods observing the ceremony don’t step in to HELP him, so Horus loses the fight and has his eyes plucked out.  Set is now the king, goes full Egyptian Nazi on their asses, and has plans to… take over the afterlife?  I don’t know exactly but whatever it is, it’s nefarious!  Who can stop Set?  Well apparently a simple thief can as Bek (Brenton Thwaltes) breaks into the pyramid where Set keeps Horus’s eye and steals it away so that he and his girlfriend Zaya (Courtney Eaton) can bring Horus back and stop Set.  Zaya gets killed in the process unfortunately which means Bek has to use the eye as leverage to get Horus to bring back his girlfriend in exchange for it.  So now that Horus is back in action (at least half way what with one eye), he needs to come up with a plan to defeat Set with the help of Bek who seems to know a couple of things about Set’s operation and his natural abilities as a thief prove to be quite useful.  Will Horus find a way to stop Set before he does something REALLY bad?  Will he get any help from the Goddess of Love Hathor (Elodie Yung), the God of Wisdom Thoth (Chadwick Boseman) or his own grandfather Ra (Geoffrey Rush) who apparently lives on the Justice League Watchtower space station?  Does… anyone really care?  Was anyone looking forward to this?

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“Ugh…  What am I even doing here?”

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Cinema Dispatch: Eddie the Eagle

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Eddie the Eagle and all the images you see in this review are owned by 20th Century Fox

Directed by Dexter Fletcher

Despite some films that are clearly going to be awful coming through the pipeline soon (*cough* Gods of Egypt *cough* Brothers Grimsby *cough*), I think it’s safe to say that the New Year Doldrums are coming to end as we’ve been getting some pretty sold films lately like The Witch and Race.  Will Eddie the Eagle, a feel good comedy about an unlikely athlete, be yet another sign that the dark times are over, or the last gasp of awfulness before such dreck is anesthetized from the local multiplexes?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows the story of Michael “Eddie” Edwards (Taron Egerton) whose one goal in life is to be an Olympic athlete and to one day participate in the games as a representative of Great Britain.  He doesn’t really care for any sport in particular (and has very little skill in most of them) but he eventually finds that skiing agrees with him for the most part and hopes to qualify for the 88 Winter Games in Calgary.  Sadly, he doesn’t seem to be up to snuff for any of the skiing events and is about to give up when he realizes that Great Britain hasn’t had an official Ski Jumper participate in the games for over fifty years which means that he doesn’t have to compete against anyone else to qualify!  True, he’s never jumped in his life, but he’s got about a year until the next games and is determined to get there no matter the cost.  He sets up camp in Germany where there’s an official training facility that he can practice at, yet the training seems to be slow going on his own.  Fortunately, IT JUST SO HAPPENS that a former American ski jumper named Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman) is the unassuming and alcoholic groundskeeper (I guess that’s what you’d call him) of the facility and, after some badgering from Eddie, eventually decides to help him get just good enough to not kill himself at the games.  Will Eddie be able to live out his dream to be an Olympic athlete in a sport he barely understands?  Will Bronson find redemption in helping this guy become a proper ski jumper?  Who wants to bet the true story wasn’t NEARLY as whimsical as they portray it here?

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“It’s Step-Pause-Turn-Pause-Pivot-Step-Step.  NOT Step-Pause-Turn-Pause-Pivot-Step-Pause, whatever the HELL that’s supposed to be!  DAMN IT!  Just let me do it!”

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Super Recaps: Sailor Moon Episode 14 (A New Enemy Appears: Nephrite’s Evil Crest)

Sailor Moon and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Toei Animation and licensed by Viz Media

Episode directed by Junichi Satou

We’re back with the first episode of Leave it to Nephrite!  After the untimely demise of everyone’s favorite woman hating boy in a man’s suit, the show now has the uphill battle of selling us on the guy who will take his place.  Sort of like how Spin City replaced Michael J Fox with Charlie Sheen and got cancelled two seasons later.  Okay, bad example.  What about The Office?  They replaced Steve Carell with Ed Helms… and got cancelled two seasons later.  Huh.  Well at least we know this show goes on for quite some time after Jadeite leaves, but can the Nephrite episodes hold a candle to the Jadeite ones or are we doomed to villains with diminishing returns for the next two hundred or so episodes?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins on Nephrite’s first day as head of project management at Hell Corp and is giving Queen Beryl his latest proposal to acquire greater quantities of energy in the coming fiscal quarter.  Unlike Jadeite who took energy from as many people as possible, Nephrite’s plan is to pick one person and milk them for all their worth because the FIRST thing you learn about investing is to put all your eggs in one basket.  Apparently I’m not the only one taking the piss out of Nephrite’s scheme because Zoisite (another one of the Kings of Dark Kingdom) just floats off to the side and laughs at him.

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“Why don’t you put all your money in Facebook while you’re at it?  Oh, I am SO deliciously sardonic!!”

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Cinema Dispatch: The Witch

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The Witch and all the images you see in this review are owned by A24

Directed by Robert Eggers

It’s probably too soon to say we’re out of the New Year Doldrums just because this movie came out, especially considering it played the festival circuit throughout most of 2015,  but whether or not this release can be used to determine a trend at the multiplexes, at least it’s something interesting to break up the mundanity and outright crappiness that we can usually expect for the first two or three months of the year.  Does this movie deserve all the praise it’s been getting, or is this another overhyped festival darling that’s being release now because it couldn’t hack it during a better time in the mainstream circuit?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows a family of ultra-religious pilgrims who have voluntarily left the settlement to live on their own and practice their own brand of conservative Christianity in peace.  Just to clear, these are the Puritans who thought the Puritans that left England to separate themselves from that sinful country were not pure enough for them.  Clearly leaving them to their own devices is going to end well for everyone.  Spoiler alert: It does not because not too long after William (the father played by Ralph Ineson) sets up their homestead just outside the woods, the baby son seems to have disappeared out of nowhere.  What happened to him?  Oh trust me.  You will find out very quickly what happened to him.  Needless to say that losing one of the kids does not sit well with either the parents (especially the mother played by Kate Dickle) or the baby’s siblings of which there are four (Thomasin played by Anya Taylor-Joy, Caleb played by Harvey Scrimshaw, and the twins Mercy and Jonas played by Ellie Grainger and Lucas Dawson).  Now it’s clear to us that somewhere deep inside the woods is a witch, but the family hasn’t come to that conclusion yet and as things get stranger and stranger, they begin to suspect one another which only escalates conflicts and weakens their sense of morality which is easily replaced by fervor.  Can this family get over the loss of their child and come together to hash out whatever differences they may have?  Will the witch’s devious motivations become clear as her corrupting influence permeates though the unwelcomed guests?  WHY IS THAT GOAT STARING AT ME!?

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“KING KONG AIN’T GOT SHIT ON ME-E-E-E-E-E!!”

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Cinema Dispatch: Risen

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Risen and all the images you see in this review are owned by Columbia Pictures

Directed by Kevin Reynolds

Not two months into the new year and we’re already getting a glimpse at the horrors we will have to endure this year as the endless wave of religious propaganda infects the cinemas like a virus (one of the really bad ones like Ebola).  Still, I always maintain that you can make a good movie out of any subject matter including religion with Noah still being the benchmark for modern biblical epics.  This one, while being a produced by the same company that brought us War Room, at least doesn’t have the foul brand of Pure Flix on it and it does have some decent stars here like Cliff Curtis who could lend at least SOME credibility here.  Does this manage to be one of the better bible films since they came back in style, or do these movies suck no matter who they get to waste their time in it?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows a Roman Centurion named Clavius (Joseph Fiennes) who works for Pontius Pilate during his time Judaea and we follow his story on the day that Christ is crucified.  Essentially playing as Pontius’s right hand man, Clavius is sent to ensure that Jesus (only referred to in this movie as Yeshua and played by Cliff Curtis) does indeed die on the cross and to ensure that his remains are entombed.  However, the high ranking Jewish officials (Rabbis I guess?) are concerned that someone will steal his body as to complete the supposed prophecy that he will rise after three days.  If the body disappears, then it will cause unrest in the city as his believers will feel their faith in his is affirmed.  Sure enough, the two bumbling guards they post at the tomb (no seriously, they’re straight up cartoonish in this) fail in their duty and the tomb is found to be empty.  It’s up to Clavius to find that body to make sure that there is proof that he did not indeed rise from the dead and that this all the work of conspirators.  Of course, if you’ve read the book then you know that isn’t the case and Clavius has one hell of a surprise waiting for him!  Will he be able to find Yeshua’s corpse (alive or dead) before Pontius throws a hissy fit?  What will Clavius do if he discovers that a man really has been brought back to life?  Is it possible that we have a Faith Based movie that ISN’T completely awful!?

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“Have you seen Jesus?  I’m trying to find him.”     “Aren’t we all?”     “Alright smartass; that’s thirty days in the stocks for you!”

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Cinema Dispatch: Race

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Race and all the images you see in this review are owned by Focus Features and TriStar Pictures

Directed by Stephen Hopkins

What with Oscars So White still being a relevant issues as the ceremony approaches, there really wasn’t a better time to release a biopic about the man who both shattered the color barrier to win four gold medals in 1936, and who succumbed to the insurmountable weight of the prejudice once her returned home.  A fitting figure to highlight the discrimination that even people as successful as Spike Lee, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and  countless other black and minority celebrities still have to face.  Does this movie do justice to the story of the man while also being heartbreaking relevant to today?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows the career of Jesse Owens (Stephen James) between his acceptance to Ohio State University and his participation in the 1936 Berlin Olympics where he won four gold medals for the hundred meter, two hundred meter, four hundred meter relay, and long jump events.  Of course, the story is not as simple as it may seem considering this all took place well before the Civil Rights Act was even a possibility in the United States, and that the Berlin Olympics were taking place in Nazi Germany which was already becoming a hotly contested entity on the world stage.  As he struggles with his own personal demons about being a proper man and father, he must also face the realities of being a symbol for something greater than himself.  Certain members of the black community want him to take a stand against the Olympics as a way to highlight the atrocities in Germany as well as those in his own home country, which could be a powerful statement but would almost certainly end his career in the process.  Now we all know he did indeed end up going to the Olympics, but it was stuff like this that was in the back of his mind that he had to work through while facing down the Nazis in their own country.  Does this movie manage to capture the historical magnitude of Jesse Owens’s achievements or is this yet another biopic that fails to capture what makes the person so great to instead focus on running down a checklist of his life story?

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“AMERICA!!  FUCK YEAH!!”

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