Cinema Dispatch: Criminal

CRIMINALCD0

Criminal and all the images you see in this review are owned by Summit Entertainment

Directed by Ariel Vromen

While Michael Keaton is out there making his comeback off of Birdman and Spotlight, one of his leading man contemporaries of the nineties, Kevin Costner, is trying to rebuild Is career off of Superman cameos and sports movies.  Sure, Michael Keaton was in the Need for Speed movie and the Robocop remake, but at least he’s spending his time in between cash-in movies doing Oscar caliber work to keep himself respected in the industry and not just relevant at the moment.  Still, Costner has some serious talent and seems to be working towards artistic relevancy even if it hasn’t panned out so far so there’s hope yet that he can get back to or even surpass his peak relevance when Dances with Wolves was tearing up the Oscars.  Will Criminal be the movie to bring Costner back to leading man status, or will this be yet another mistake to knock him down a peg toward total irrelevance?  Let’s find out!!

The movie begins with good ol’ Ryan Reynolds as a secret agent (again) who’s doing all sorts of spy things without any real context for the audience.  He’s carrying around a bag of money with a passport inside, so clearly this is some sort of rainy day fund for either himself or for someone else.  It’s clear that that rainy day has come however as he’s being tailed by a red headed bad guy (Antje Traue) who’s working for the main bad guy Xavier Heimdahl (Jordi Mollà) and they’re trying to stop Ryan Reynolds  from… doing whatever it is he’s doing.  He does the best he can but I’m guessing the guy was shooting during his lunch breaks from Deadpool, so he gets caught and murdered by the bad guys within fifteen minutes of the film, though apparently without giving them the information they needed.  The CIA, whom Ryan Reynolds was working for, is uber-pissed about all this and the head of this branch (Quaker Wells played by Gary Oldman) which for some reason is based out of the UK (okay…) needs whatever information Ryan Reynolds was hiding from the baddies.  So what’s the BRILLIANT idea that he comes up with?  Well… Get a world renown doctor in the field of memories (Dr. Franks played by Tommy Lee Jones) to do a SUPER SCIENCE EXPERIMENT where he essentially transfers the memories into another person.  Who’s the vessel for these new memories though?  Well for reasons (sciency reasons I’m sure), they need someone who’s frontal lobe isn’t working properly and the only person they could find is a psychotic and ultra-dangerous criminal by the name of Jericho Stewart (Kevin Costner) to play along with their Frankenstein plan and not try to escape at the earliest opportunity.  Oh wait.  After the surgery he does just that.  Whoopsie daisy.  So now we got a career criminal with CIA memories, a bad guy looking to take over the world, and I think the Russians are in the mix as well; all of whom are gonna give the CIA and Gary Oldman a brain aneurysm before this day is over.  Will the lost memories of Ryan Reynolds be enough to save the world from Xavier Heimdahl?  Will Jericho get over his angst and brooding long enough to not let the world be destroyed?  Who thought this was going to work?  Like… at all?

CRIMINALCD1
“Why am I here?  God damn it, is Iñárritu doing another Birdman movie?  We could call it Waterman!  That’ll work… right?”

Continue reading “Cinema Dispatch: Criminal”

Super Recaps: Sailor Moon Episode 20 (The Summer, the Beach, Youth and Ghosts)

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

Episode directed by Kazuhisa Takenouchi

We’re back with another episode of The Moon Princess Bride!  When we last left our heroes, they had just managed to foil Nephrite’s plot for like the seventh or eighth time, and that was after having defeated Jadeite at least ten times!  Clearly they’re owed a vacation at this point, and that’s exactly what they do here!  A change in scenery can be a nice change of pace for a show that finds itself in a routine, but it can also end up a mess when trying to write characters outside of what the creators are usually comfortable having them do.  Will this be a trip to remember or a nightmare worse than what the Griswold’s endured?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins by making good on their promise of new scenery and the potential for beach-related shenanigans as the three Sailor Scouts (plus Luna) have traveled to the coast in order to enjoy their summer vacation.  That is if they can get Luna to shut up about this being a “training camp” which shouldn’t be too hard.  Have you seen how small she is?  Besides, why would she take them to a beach for a training montage!?  I know that worked for Rocky but it’s not 1982 anymore!  Besides, Usagi is already checked out as her mind is racing with the possibilities this weekend holds.

SM20-1
Honestly?  I’m just surprised he’s still wearing pants.

Continue reading “Super Recaps: Sailor Moon Episode 20 (The Summer, the Beach, Youth and Ghosts)”

Super Comics: Shake The Lake (volume 1)

STLSC0

Shake the Lake and all the images you see in this review are owned by North Air Entertainment

Written by Zach Block and Machi Block

Illustrated by Diego Lopez Mata and Andrea Lopez Mata

If you’re interested in purchasing this digital comic, you can do so on Amazon!

Well THIS is certainly something new!  The good people at North Air Entertainment reached out to The Reviewers Unite to see if we were interested in reviewing the first volume of their graphic novel that they just released!  I’m very honored that we’ve been given the opportunity to check this out and to give our thoughts on it!  Still, despite North Air Entertainment being SUPER cool about doing this, I will always do my best to be honest and convey my true opinion on whatever it is I’m reviewing.  So then; is Shake the Lake the start of an interesting independent comic book series, or will this get lost in the endless sea of self-published works flooding the Amazon marketplace?  Let’s find out!!

This first volume is here to set up the relationship between our five main characters; Callun, Joe, Jake (also known as Woog), Zach, and… Zach’s little brother.  I can’t find a place where they call him by name, so I’m gonna go with Zach Jr.  The presumed leader of the group (Callun) is the one we follow throughout the story who seems to be stuck in a rut in his life.  He’s partying all the time, doesn’t have a job, and doesn’t have much drive to accomplish anything accept catching mad air on his wakeboard with his friends.  All that changes however when he loses the lake house (who knew landlords would be so touchy about loud parties and property damage?) and his girlfriend dumps him.  No one else in the crew seems to be doing much better, so the five of them decide to blow this Popsicle Stand and see if Zack and Zack Jr’s uncle Bill in Arizona can give them breezy jobs and a change of scenery.  Will they find their purpose in life once they end up in a new place?  What challenges will face them and Uncle Bill as the town itself seems to be under siege by a nearby Yacht club?  Are these bad enough dudes to surf waves and fight the power!?

STLSC1
Truly, they are Gods among men.

Continue reading “Super Comics: Shake The Lake (volume 1)”

Super Recaps: Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 (Infinity 1: Premonition – Part 2 –)

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

We’re back with another episode of Sailor Moon Crystal: The Please Forgive Us Season!  Last week we got an episode that was about as good as we could expect from as show that has been as heavily retooled between seasons as this one was, but now it’s time to see if that was just a fluke or if we’re really gonna be getting a more than decent show now.  Can the hot streak continue, or is this show about to go bust on the second round?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins as most evenings in the Tsukino household do; with Chibi-Usa needling her future mother and Usagi falling for it hook line and sinker.  In this case, Chibi-Usa was on the phone with Mamoru.  Take it away Usagi!

SMC27-13
“I’m the one who’s gonna bring you into this world!  I could very easily decide not to!”

Continue reading “Super Recaps: Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 (Infinity 1: Premonition – Part 2 –)”

Super Recaps: My Little Pony season 6 (On Your Marks)

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Hasbro.

Episode directed by Denny Lu and Tim Stuby

We back with another episode of Cutie Mark Crusaders: The After Years!  Considering they earned their marks towards the end of last season, we haven’t really had time to address what they would be doing now that they are no longer crusading.  Will they’re post Cutie Mark debut be the start of new adventures and possibilities, or is this episode gonna be a huge admission of buyer’s remorse?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with the Cutie Mark Crusaders decidedly not crusading for cutie marks to the Apple Bloom’ chagrin who would rather their time be spent not looking at each other’s asses.

MLPS6E04-1
“Did you see my Cutie Mark!?”     “Yes, I’ve seen your Cutie Mark.”     “No, but did you REALLY see it?”     “I’m pretty sure I have.”     “Well look again just to make sure!”     “Yeah Apple Bloom!  And then you can look at MINE again!”

Continue reading “Super Recaps: My Little Pony season 6 (On Your Marks)”

Cinema Dispatch: The Boss

BOSSCD0

The Boss and all the images you see in this review are owned by Universal Pictures

Directed by Ben Falcone

Melissa McCarthy has been around for quite some time, but her meteoric rise to super-stardom is nothing short of amazing, especially when you realize that Bridesmaids was only five years ago.  She’s had her ups and downs to be sure with movies like Identity Thief and Tammy being total wrecks, and yet neither of those (nor anything else she does) can even put a dent in her ever growing box office power.  Now on the brink of the biggest movie of her career, it’s time for her and her husband to take another crack at making a film all on their own to make up for the last one not turning out to well.  Does this manage to prove once again that McCarthy is untouchable due to her skills as a leading lady, or will it prove that she’s untouchable due to career not slowing down in the slightest if this turns out to be a disaster?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows Michelle Darnell (Melissa McCarthy) who is the forty seventh richest woman in the world; a fortune she built from the ground up as she was adopted and abandoned no less than three times during her life.  When the movie starts, she’s on top of the world but has lost touch with the commoners, which is especially apparent with the way she treats her assistant Claire (Kristen Bell).  Not only that, she has an ex business partner (and ex-lover) named Renault (Peter Dinklage) who has been itching to get revenge on her and finally has an opportunity when he gets proof of committing a crime (insider trading) and reports her to the FCC.  She goes to jail, loses all of her money, and comes crawling back to Claire.  Will Michelle be able to earn back her fortune with the help of her former assistant and soon to be bestest friend?  How far will Renault go to keep Michelle from finding success ever again?  WHAT IS SHE HIDING UNDER THAT TURTLENECK!?

BOSSCD1
“Can you dig it?  Can you dig it!?  CAANN  YOOUU  DIG IT!?!?”

Continue reading “Cinema Dispatch: The Boss”

Cinema Dispatch: Hardcore Henry

HHCD0

Hardcore Henry and all the images you see in this review are owned by STX Entertainment

Directed by Ilya Naishuller

Well it’s about time we got some badass action this year!  Batman v Superman and Gods of Egypt turned out to be duds (admittedly I was a bit more optimistic of the former), and London Has Fallen turned out to be… well London Has Fallen.  Can this unorthodox arthouse piece prove to the be shot in the arm we need in a landscape that only seems to care about action when super heroes do it, or will this experiment prove to be a resounding failure that glommed itself onto a half-baked gimmick?  Let’s find out!!

The movie is all about Henry who is some dude that wakes up in a laboratory with amnesia, robotic limbs, and a hot wife named Estelle (Haley Bennett).  For the most part I would call that a win-win, but of course nothing can go right for too long in a science lab, so the place gets attacked by… some guy.  I’m pretty sure the dude’s name is Akan (Danila Kozolvsky) who has telekinetic powers… for some reason, and wants Henry… for some reason.  No, I don’t know why he’s the ONLY ONE in this entire movie that has magic powers.  In fact, there’s a lot about this movie I don’t know after seeing it, but I guess that’s not as important as the whole KILL EVERYTHING WITH YOUR BAD ASS ROBOT PARTS seems to take precedence over everything else.  And that’s exactly what Henry proceeds to do for an hour and a half.  His wife is kidnapped by the Akan the Black Mage, and he has to kill everyone in his path to get her back.  Aiding him on his journey is the loveable Jimmy (Sharlto Copley) who’s pulling off an interesting trick here and has his own reasons for wanting to keep Henry alive and fighting.  Will Henry get his wife back before it’s too late?  Can this new cybernetic body handle all the stress and bullets that Henry is going to put it through?  WHAT THE HELL DID HE JUST DO TO THAT GUY’S FACE!?

HHCD1
“You ready to see some shit?  I don’t think you’re ready, but fortune favors the bold, right?  No… Not really, but good luck to ya!”

Continue reading “Cinema Dispatch: Hardcore Henry”

Super Recaps: Sailor Moon Episode 19 (Usagi’s Joy: A Love Letter from Tuxedo Mask)

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

Episode directed by Takao Yoshizawa

We’re back with another episode of Everybody Loves Nephrite!  He certainly seems to have a way with people, though I’m guessing at least forty percent of his charm comes from being a monster spawned from the depths of hell.  Everyone loves a bad boy!  That is except Queen Beryl who’s getting just a tad tired of his failures and is itching to dish out some punishments!  Will he be able to finally take out the Scouts before Beryl has him sleeping with the fishes?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with Nephrite in his personal command center where he’s desperately searching for a way to defeat those pesky Scouts before Queen Beryl ends up Jadeite-ing his ass.  The stars come to his aid once again (I imagine that he’s accruing quite a debt with them by now like Dr. Facilier in The Princess and the Frog) and show him that the one weakness is the same weakness that all heroes have; their heart!  The key to defeating the Scouts (and Sailor Moon in particular) is to go after Tuxedo Mask!  Sadly, he can’t jump on his new project just yet because he’s being requested to return to the head offices of Hell Corp for a performance review.  Needless to say that Queen Beryl has had it up to here with the lack of dead Sailor Scouts, but doesn’t seem to have any ideas other than to blame the underlings.  To be fair though, they can be QUITE sassy with her.

SM19-1
“YOU FOOL!  How hard is it to kill a couple of teenagers!?”     “Harder than waving your hands in front of a crystal ball.”     “What was that?”     “Nothing.”     “WHAT WAS THAT!?”     “…I’m sor-“     *ZAP*

Continue reading “Super Recaps: Sailor Moon Episode 19 (Usagi’s Joy: A Love Letter from Tuxedo Mask)”

Super Recaps: Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 (Infinity 1: Premonition – Part 1 –)

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

After all this time, it’s hard to believe that we’ve finally getting more Sailor Moon Crystal to voraciously consume and then talk smack about!  ADMIT IT!!  All the fans out there who say the original is better; you eat this up too whether you like it or not!  I was always pretty kind to Crystal and still have some affection for the first two seasons even if the flaws become oh so very apparent after going back to watch the original show.  Still, the hype behind this season has only grown after Toei started revealing the tweaks to the art style and also at the prospect of having HD versions of the other Scouts like Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto; all of whom are pretty much a mystery to me outside of Neptune and Uranus being a couple who were turned into cousins when the show was initially brought to western audiences.  Just like before, my first introduction to these characters and this story line will be through Crystal so despite my valiant efforts to catch up on the original series, I’m still woefully behind on that and will be watching these episodes of Crystal as a newcomer rather than a fan who can provide insightful comparisons.  Will this show manage to recapture the glory of this season the same way the original did, or will I have to sit through the bastardization of what is considered the best story arc to many fans?  Let’s find out!!

SMC27-1
“For you to pre-order the deluxe edition!  Reserve your copy now and get the characters you ACTUALLY want!!”

Continue reading “Super Recaps: Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 (Infinity 1: Premonition – Part 1 –)”