Monthly Archives: October 2016

The Cartoon Physicist’s Noughtie List: Hellraiser – Hellseeker

Halloween’s here and the Hellraiser franchise has more tricks for us than treats.

Cinema Dispatch: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

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Jack Reacher: Never Go Back and all the images you see in this review are owned by Paramount Pictures

Directed by Edward Zwick

Everyone liked the first movie, right?  It had depth, a decent mystery to solve, some solid action scenes, and Tom Cruise was charming as all hell!  Sure, he was the embodiment of the masculine ideal which comes with a certain amount of baggage (just ask James Bond) , but that film brought a lot to the table where so many others would just coast on its star power and wouldn’t even worry about telling a decent story.  Now it’s time for them to pump out a sequel, and of course they couldn’t get the same writer/director to return this time (instead he’s just a producer) leaving it up to the director of The Last Samurai and Tom Cruise’s raw charisma to pick up the slack.  Can they catch lightening in a bottle twice for this franchise, or are we domed to exponentially worse films until Tom Cruise gets tired of this series?  Let’s find out!!

The movie begins with Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) heading toward Washington DC to meet up with a friend of his who’s his only real connection to his past life in the military, but when he arrives he finds out that Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders) has been arrested for her e-mails or something (ha ha).  Of course, Jack Reacher finds out pretty much immediately that this is all a setup but gets arrested by the military for killing Turner’s lawyer which he obviously didn’t do.  I don’t know why the bad guys felt it necessary to do this, especially because he’s getting processed at the Military Prison at the same time the bad guys are sending hired goons to kill Major Turner in this co-ed prison.  Jack Reacher kicks everyone’s ass, the two of them escape, and now they have to find out who it is that set the both of them up.  Of course, it’s not quite that easy.  You see, it turns out that in ALL this time that Jack’s been contacting Major Turner over the phone, she failed to mention that he’s had a paternity suit pending for the last fifteen years which means he might have a kid out there who probably hates his guts right now.  The kid in question is Samantha Dayton (Danik Yarosh) and sure enough the bad guys know about her and start targeting her to get to Jack which means he has to drag her along until this mystery is solved.  Can Jack and Turner figure out who’s responsible for their incarceration and what they’re so desperate to cover up?  Is Jack really the father of this surly teenager who’s not in the mood to deal with any of this bullshit?  Seriously, there’s like twenty of these Jack Reacher books.  Was this the best story they could get out of them!?

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Oh HELL no!  You’re not getting out of this one so easily!

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Cinema Dispatch: Keeping Up with the Joneses

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Keeping Up with the Joneses and all the images you see in this review are owned by 20th Century Fox

Directed by Greg Mottola

Are you SURE I didn’t see this last month?  I’m just getting the weirdest sense of déjà vu right now…  Well either way, we’re stuck with another Zach Galifianakis comedy to throw on the pile, and the Unique Selling Point here is that it’s a spy movie.  Sigh… Really?  We just got a dumb criminal movie; now we’ve got him dicking around in the most overplayed genre of the year!?  Well, who knows?  Central Intelligence managed to be good despite its rather weak spy angle, and while Masterminds had a pretty strong cast as well, THIS one has sexiest man alive who’s named after food, Jon Hamm, as it’s costar!  Maybe this could end up being really good!  Right?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows the Typical American Suburban CoupleTM  made up of Jeff Gaffney (Zach Galifianakis) and Karen Gaffney (Isla Fisher) who are living out what some dumbass Hollywood executives must believe are the normal lives of middle class white people.  Jeff works at some defense company as the Human Resources manager which means he basically wastes people’s time and lets them use his computer for personal stuff.  Basically he’s a doormat that’s merely tolerated by his peers, but he’s perfectly happy to live this life of quiet desperation for some reason and will probably be behind his crappy little desk until the day he keels over and dies.  Those plans start to change though as the cul-de-sac gets new neighbors in the form of Tim Jones (Jon Hamm) and Natalie Jones (Gal Gadot) who are pretty bad at their jobs as they are OBVIOUSLY spies.  In fact, they are so unsubtle about this that Karen picks up on it immediately and it doesn’t take long for her suspicious to be confirmed.  By the time this happens though, both she and Jeff have already been dragged into some sort national security operation to prevent some sort of black market sale that was happening right under Jeff’s nose as SOMEONE who’s been using his computer was setting it all up from there!  Now the two couples have to work together to save the world or something, and I’m SURE Jeff and Karen are gonna pull their weight in this situation and not be total albatrosses hanging around the necks of these two professional spies who ACTUALLY know what the hell they’re doing.  Who is the person setting up the sale that will threaten national security, and why did they have to be a dick about it by using Jeff’s computer?  The Joneses may seem like the perfect power couple, but are there issues that they aren’t addressing?  Was anyone looking forward to this?  Like… at all?

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“I’m think you’re gonna need this, bro.”     “Why do you think that?”     “Pass it over here.  I was in The Town god damn it…”

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Super Recaps: My Little Pony season 6 (To Where and Back Again) Season Six Finale!!

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’re back for the last time this year as we’ve reached the end of My Little Pony’s sixth season!  It’s not always the best show out there as episodes like The Cart Before the Ponies or 28 Pranks Later have clearly proven, but it’s always deflating to get to the end of a season knowing that it’ll be quite some time before they pick things back up again; especially considering they just released the latest Equestria Girls movie instead of waiting a bit and using it to tide us over between now and season seven.  WHAT DO I HAVE LEFT!?  Oh wait, they’re still making the comics.  That should work!  Anyway, does this episode cap off the sixth season on a high note and leave us wanting more, or will we begging for it to be over as soon as possible?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins at Twilight’s Doom Fortress where the three primary residents, Twilight, Starlight, and the slave boy, are moving books into the basement because there’s not enough room left upstairs.  Wait, does her castle actually double as a library or is this her personal hoard?  I mean, it’s not like the small town of Ponyville was swimming in libraries BEFORE Tirek torched Golden Oaks to the ground, so you’d think Twilight AT LEAST owes that much to the city.  Oh I’m sorry, were Twilight and Starlight talking about friendship or something?  I wasn’t payment that much attention and neither was Spike for that matter who wanders off from the conversation to look out the window.  A wise move considering there’s something heading right for them at terminal velocity.

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“DON’T YOU DARE SMASH INTO THOSE BOOKS!”     “Oh I’m smashing those books!”     “DAMN IT!”

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Cinema Dispatch: Boo! A Madea Halloween

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Boo! A Madea Halloween and all the images you see in this review are owned by Lionsgate

Directed by Tyler Perry

I knew this day would come.  Ever since this guy came on the scene, I’ve just never had an interest in seeing anything he’s made and until now I’ve never had a reason to.  I mean I knew becoming a film critic would have its downsides… but come on!  Oh well.  No point in putting it off any longer.  It’s time for me to sit down and watch a Madea film.  Who knows?  Maybe it won’t be all bad.  Hell, it looks like it’s the spiritual successor to Ernest Scared Stupid, so maybe they’ll replace Jesus with Halloween Kitsch? Yeah, probably not.  Still, is it any good?  Let’s find out!!

The movie is all about Brian Simmons (Tyler Perry) and his increasingly strained relationship with his teenage daughter Tiffany (Diamond White).  Tiffany wants to go to a Halloween party that’s hosted by a Frat House that’s conveniently located within walking distance and wants to drag her Good Christian Preacher’s DaughterTM friend Aday (Liza Koshy) along with her.  Brian says no, Tiffany says Fuck You (not literally) and so he has to pull out the big guns; namely Mabel “Madea” Simmons (Tyler Perry again) along with her friends Uncle Joe (Tyler Perry… again), Aunt Bam (Cassi Davis), and Hattie (Patrice Lovely) to babysit while he goes out on a business trip… on Halloween.  Tiffany isn’t about to give up without a fight though and convinces the four of them that there’s a ghost in the house to keep them distracted while she sneaks off to the party and things get more shenanigan filled from there.  Will Tiffany learn a lesson about listening to her father after getting to the party?  Is there something ACTUALLY haunting Madea and her friends at the house, even if Tiffany’s story was total bullshit?  God damn, is THIS what I’ve been avoiding all these years!?

 

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I WISH Tim Curry would show up in this damn thing!

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The Cartoon Physicist’s Noughtie List: Hellraiser – Inferno

Halloween is upon us! And you know what that means…crappy horror franchises.

Cinema Dispatch: Ouija: Origin of Evil

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Ouija: Origin of Evil and all the images you see in this review are owned by Universal Pictures

Directed by Mike Flanagan

In a year that’s already been pretty good for horror movies and sequels, has it been just as good for horror movie sequels?  Well ironically enough for a genre known for churning out sequels, there’s really only been two I’ve seen this year; The Purge: Election Year which is one of the best films of the year so far, and Blair Witch which is one of my least favorites.  Sure I heard people liked The Conjuring 2, but I hated the first one with a fiery passion so I highly doubt it would end up on the good end, and then if you wanted you could count 10 Cloverfield Lane as a horror movie which I would put on the good side even if it’s sequel status is somewhat questionable.  My point is that the data on horror sequels this year is, shall we say… inconclusive.  Will we have a more definitive answer one way or the other with this prequel (I know that’s technically not the same thing as a sequel, but I’m freaking counting it!) to a movie that was universally panned just two years ago?  Let’s find out!!

The movie takes place in 1967 at the home of the Zander family, made up the mother Alice (Elizabeth Reaser) and her two daughters Lina (Annallise Basso) and Doris (Lulu Wilson).  Alice is barely getting by after the death of her husband as her fortune telling business isn’t quite paying the bills, but they’ll make due for now and they even get a new item for the show that should definitely drum up some business, right?  Well those concerns become secondary as it JUST SO HAPPENS to be a ghost living in the house already that has started to take control over young Doris and is clearly after something but we’re not sure what.  For now, it’s just using Doris to pretend to be the dead father and freaks everyone out with the Ouija Board as a way to… I don’t know; keep Alice from calling the Ghostbusters?  Either way, Alice is more than happy to have a REAL (and presumably benevolent) ghost in the house to not be used to keep a roof over their heads but to also get some closure with her “husband” after his tragic death.  Of course, Lina smells bullshit from a mile away and knows better than to trust something possessing her sister CLAIMING to be her dead father, so she starts to investigate and even gets a local priest involved (Henry Thomas) to find out exactly what’s going on; something the ghost isn’t too happy about.  Will Lina and the Padre stop this madness before it’s too late?  Just what is the ghost after if it needs to pretend to be good rather than just kill everyone in their sleep?  How the hell is it gonna convince everybody of that when it keeps messing with her face!?

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“Look at that!  How is that normal!?”     “Oh will you relax?  She’s just yawning!”

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The Cartoon Physicist’s Noughtie List: Hellboy – Sword of Storms

Happy (belated) Birthday, Mike Mignola!

DISCLAIMER: This video was supposed to come out on September. It has nothing to do with Halloween.

Cinema Dispatch: Shin Godzilla

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Shin Godzilla and all the images you see in this review are owned by Toho

Directed by Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi

I may not be the biggest fan of the King of the Monsters as I’ve probably seen seven or eight of his movies at most, but giant monster movies are right up my alley when they’re done right.  Now we’ve recently gotten our own Born in the USA Godzilla movies which is another of his films I haven’t seen (yet somehow I’ve seen the Roland Emmerich one), but this is the first Godzilla movie in over a decade from Japan and Toho itself, with their last outing being Godzilla: Final Wars which is one of the more… interesting entries in the franchise and is one of the films I’ve actually seen (imagine if there were WWE monster matches happening the background of a Matrix sequel and you get the basic idea).  Now while I would have liked to get a more toned down version of that kind of movie with updated effects, this time around they’re trying to get back to basics and rediscover what made the character such a force to be reckoned with when he first premiered in 1954; a mere nine years after we dropped the nukes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Oh look!  It’s been five years since the earthquake that causes that nuclear crisis in Japan!  Maybe it really is the perfect time to take this character out of retirement.  Does the movie succeed in making Godzilla the cinematic powerhouse he once was, or is this yet another failed reboot of a series long past its prime?  Let’s find out!!

The movie begins with some odd seismic activity happening just off the coast of Tokyo that’s causing underwater tunnels to leak and a major disruption of government services to the area.  The Prime Minister (Ren Ohsugi) has called in various experts to find out what the hell is going on in the bay, but only one of his aides, Rando Yaguchi (Hiroki Hasegawa), is paying attention to social media which is saying that there’s a giant monster just below the waves.  Sure enough, Godzilla comes roaring out and rampages the city before diving back underwater.  Well CLEARLY no one was ready for that, so the Prime Minister assigns Rando to head up an Anti-Godzilla task force where the best minds of Japan will try to figure out the monster’s weakness before the next attack which can put the entire country, if not the whole world, at great risk.  Of course, this creature didn’t just come out of nowhere.  Well okay; I THINK it did, but there’s one country (take a guess which one) that seems to have a bit more information than they’re leading on and have sent a special envoy, Kayoko Ann Patterson (Satomi Ishihara), to assist in whatever ways she can… while keeping her country’s interest in mind.  Can the Anti-Godzilla Task force stop this creature from taking its problems out on the citizens of Japan?  Where exactly did this creature come from and what does the rest of the world know about him?  Can I please get a plushie of this new Godzilla design!?

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“I’M READY FOR MY CLOSE UP!!”

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Cinema Dispatch: The Accountant

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The Accountant and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures

Directed by Gavin O’Connor

Who is the Accountant?  More importantly, why should I care?  On the list of movies that I was looking forward to this year, this certainly isn’t one of them; not because the trailers looked BAD but because we’ve already got enough spy movies out there and we’re getting a Jack Reacher sequel next week that’s probably gonna be the best we can hope for this year.  Still, there could be something here if Ben Affleck signed on for it, and I guess it’s POSSIBLE the premise of someone with high functioning Autism being a super solider could be done gracefully, though I kind of doubt it.  Is this a fun and engaging action film to add to Ben Affleck’s increasing impressive résumé, or is he just desperate for something to get people to forget Batman v Superman, and he took the first crappy project that landed on his desk?  Let’s find out!!

The movie is all about Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) who is the enigmatic ACCOUNTANT!  Who is THE ACCOUNTANT!?  Well according to Treasury Agent Raymond King (JK Simmons) who will serve as our exposition-bot for this movie, he cooks the books for the most dangerous men on the planet and he needs to be stopped!  What Agent King doesn’t know though is that he’s ALSO Batman with a much more lax murder policy and can certainly hold his own if he ever gets betrayed by one of his shady business partners.  That doesn’t happen in the movie though.  Instead, he’s hired as an accountant instead of THE ACCOUNTANT by Lamar Blackburn (John Lithgow) who has NO IDEA who he just hired, and has him look over his company’s book since a low level employee Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick) found some irregularities.  These irregularities by the way are enough for the person who CAUSED the irregularities (i.e. stole a few bucks) to start sending out murder squads against everyone because of reasons.  Okay… well I guess THE ACCOUNTANT now has to fend off the bad guy’s henchmen (which include Jon Bernthal) and save Dana from being murdered… for looking at finical statements.  Whatever.  So just who is stealing money from the company and feels the need to send The Punisher to kill everyone who has ever looked at the company’s finances?  Will THE ACCOUNTANT go out on too far a limb to save this woman he just met a few days ago and give Agent King the lead he needs to find him?  Can someone please explain to me what the hell is going on here?

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The dude’s writing all this shit on the windows!  Isn’t it a bit late to try covering it up!?

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